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Field Research Project

Course Code: SCIE 2307
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Environmental Science
Credits: 4.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab, Field Experience
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

The focus of this course is a semester-long research project involving a field location associated with a particular environmental topic. The project will be analogous to a major project undertaken by an environmental consulting company. Students will engage in data collection and analysis relevant to the environmental issue associated with the field location. Technical report writing and working in teams are required components of this course.

Course Content

Major topics may include:

  1. Population, community and ecosystem processes
  2. Biological diversity and conservation biology
  3. Geological topics including:
    • Bedrock & surficial geology
    • Landscapes & hillslopes
    • Streams & flooding
    • Earthquakes & hazards
    • Shorelines & coastal processes
    • Soils & groundwater
  4. Toxic and hazardous wastes
  5. Air & water pollution
  6. Water quality sampling
  7. Solid & liquid waste management
  8. Habitat destruction and restoration
  9. Biological invasions
  10. Genetically-modified organisms
  11. Geological, natural and environmental history of a local field site eg.:
    • Fraser Estuary
    • Coquitlam River
    • Boundary Bay
    • Burns Bog
    • Byrne Creek
  12. Application of environmental management strategies eg.:
    • Adaptive management
    • Impact assessment
    • Stakeholders & partnerships
    • Conflict resolution

Methods of Instruction

This course involves 2 hours per week of classroom instruction and 4 hours per week of laboratory and field work.

Means of Assessment

Project proposal 10%
Quizzes 20%
Group participation 10%
Interim project report & presentation 20%
Final project report & presentation 40%


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of SCIE 2307, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe biological and geological features of a field site of environmental interest.
  2. Design a sampling protocol and collect biological, geological and chemical samples from a field site.
  3. Identify and catalogue biological and geological samples in the laboratory.
  4. Use GPS equipment and GIS software to map a field site.
  5. Conduct simple chemical analyses of field-collected samples (eg. water samples) in the laboratory.
  6. Design and conduct simple field experiments to answer questions of environmental interest.
  7. Operate and maintain field equipment used for collection of data.
  8. Accurately record data from field collections and experiments and enter into an appropriate computer program (eg. Microsoft Excel).
  9. Prepare data for presentation (eg. graphically) and conduct simple statistical analyses.
  10. Organize field, laboratory and data analysis activities by collaboration with a team of students.
  11. Research an environmental topic related to the data collection above, prepare a major report and present findings in a student conference.

course prerequisites

SCIE 1107 and BIOL 1110 and BIOL 1210 and CHEM 1110

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.